Sunday, March 06, 2005

A little more nothing, please

I realize I have been a pathetic poster this week; I'm not sure whether I have an excuse other than my Perpetual Inertia. I've spent a lot of time this week foundering around, wondering what I'm supposed to be Doing With My Life, ad nauseum. I had a huge burst of energy at the beginning of the week, which was great while it lasted--houses were getting cleaned, furniture was being bought, work was getting done, asses were being exercised (well, okay, just the one ass)--but that energy petered out around...oh, Wednesday. Since then I've mostly moped around, guzzling IZZE and shaking my fist at the heavens, demanding a sign or an intervention or a semi-clad fireman or something, anything to push me in some direction.

On the kid front, the little dickens are doing okay. The Girl has taken up spitting, which as I recall, her brother toyed with around this age. Now, his karma is biting him in the be-hind as his sister follows him around, randomly spitting various substances at/on/toward him.

And what a few weeks he's been through, poor little guy. After long agonizing, we made the decision to try medication. The dietary changes, the removal of chemicals, the occupational therapy, the parenting tactics, the exercise, the talk therapy--all have made small improvements here and there over the past 6 months. He's much less prone to violent outbursts, the overreaction to touch has almost completely disappeared (and only seems to rear its ugly head when Red Dye From Hell sneaks into his diet), and his physical coordination is improving weekly. Yesterday, he was messing around out in the back yard and started trying to hit a little rubber ball with one of those beach-pong paddles--and did it! He was so excited. That kept him occupied for a while, then he found some old golf balls and his old play golf set, and started whacking golf balls--and hitting them! I'm no golfer, but his swing looked pretty good. So that was a very exciting episode. So anyway, all these things are contributing to what I see as progress. The one thing that isn't getting better, though, is his impulsivity, and that's what finally prompted the decision to go pharmaceutical. The impulsivity is the thing that is starting to cause him problems with his friends. It's the thing that causes him to lash out for no reason--to hit his sister, push a friend, or threaten death and destruction to whomever happens to be nearest. It's the thing that scares me. I can handle the hyperactivity, even the inattention, but I see him in real danger of hurting himself or others if the impulsivity keeps on like it's going.

So. Our wonderful pediatric psychiatrist, may a thousand blessings be showered upon him, talked us through all our options and didn't even roll his eyes when I cried in his office. He just radiates calm, the dear man, and his own daughter and grandsons have dealt with this diagnosis and are well and happy. We decided to try Concerta first. Another plus for the ped-psych: He told us about the whole Canadian Adderall thing, and didn't harumph at me when I immediately said that there was, then, no way in hell we were trying Adderall because I trust the FDA about as far as I can throw Dick "The AntiChrist" Cheney. Long story short, he told us the side-effects to watch for, and off we went.

Side effect #1: Mania. Maaaaania--sounds fun, doesn't it? Well, let's just go on record as saying that it isn't. So much for Concerta.

So then we had the nice discussion about whether this meant that bipolar was more likely, blah blah blah--oh, Tourrettes came up, that was fun. Apparently, I displayed symptoms as a preteen, lala, the brain is a wonderful organ, etc., etc. And long story once again (not so) short, we're trying Strattera, which isn't a stimulant but rather an antidepressant. And so far, the only side effect seems to be that after taking it at dinner, he get pretty sleepy around 7:45 and is out by 8:00. THIS I can live with. There are other, less pleasant side effects that we have to watch out for, and we won't really know whether there's any improvement in his impulsivity for several more weeks, but this is where we are at the moment. This, and scheduling more appointments with the psychologist to help him learn how to deal with his father's bipolar-induced mood swings. And, trying to work with that doctor to figure out how to craft a 504 plan that might help keep him in the school he's in now, even if the district changes our neighborhood boundaries again.

And on a final note, which will finalize the coma you're falling into if you've managed to wade through to this point: The Acupuncturist made an odd pronouncement yesterday. She was pleased over my pulses, which seemed pathogen free, though weak. Then, as she was doing the needle worked, she asked, "Where is your husband from? Is he from Paris? Ex-husband, I mean." Little chat followed, after which she paused, then said, "You know, when I called him your two have a really strange karmic connection going on. It's the strongest connection I've seen, just this lifelong bond. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, just...strong. He's almost like a physical presence throughout your body." "Huh," I said. "That explains a lot." Then we laughed, but I have to admit that the whole exchange just ticked me off. Not at The Acupuncturist, mind you, just--I don't know. I didn't need to hear that.

But at least I got to fondle the yellow blankie.